Thanks to the rise of the internet, many startups have managed to build businesses in markets that have been traditionally dominated by giants. As a result, many entrepreneurs have been inspired by these achievements and decided to test their luck and launch their own business. Currently at the moment, in the USA the entrepreneurship rate is at 6.4%.

With an increase in the number of startups, consulting firms´ demand has gone up too. However, the traditional all-mighty consulting firms, the big fives, could seem a bit intimidating for a small startup with barely 20 employees, yet in need to consulting services. As a result, a new term and approach to the consulting market have been coined: boutique consulting firm.

The big five consulting firms

Traditionally, large companies and corporations have used the so-called big consulting firm, below I have listed the top five consultancy firms in the world.

  1. Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting)
  2. Deloitte Touche Consulting (Deloitte Consulting)
  3. Ernst & Young
  4. KPMG Consulting
  5. PriceWaterhouseCoopers

You might wonder why they are so called the big five. They have thousands of employees and offices all over the world and they have huge revenues (see table below).

Boutique Consulting Firms

A boutique consulting firm just like a clothing shop refers to a small agency which offers high-quality services, personal service and its rates are lower than one of the big consulting firms.

For example, in the advertising and marketing sector where five agencies (WPP Group, Omnicom Group, Publicis Group, Interpublic Group, Dentsu) control most of the largest advertising biggest from the largest spenders such as Coca Cola, Unilever and Tesco, there is little room for small agencies that can not compete with those giants.

As a response to the consulting market encouraged by startups and small yet ambitious businesses, the boutique consulting firms have found their audience and times are prosperous for those. Top boutique consulting firms in London

Below I have listed the top boutique consulting firms in London with less than 249 employees and an hourly rate not higher than 300 pounds an hour.

  1. 1. Top Media Advertising
  2. 2. Ocean Strategy
  3. 3. Valtari
  4. 4. The Barton Partnership
  5. 5. Alpha Consulting
  6. 6. Abbott Risk Consulting
  7. 7. Blueberry Consultants
  8. 8. Geeks Ltd
  9. 9. Synetec
  10. 10. Appetite Creative Solutions
  11. 11. Ikon London
  12. 12. Humatica
  13. 13. Kota
  14. 14. 360i
  15. 15. Renewable Energy Consultants
  16. 16. Moeller & Poeller Engineering (MPE)
  17. 17. Marketing Expertus

Top Boutique Consulting Firms in London

Based in London, it is one of the most innovative and creative agencies that aims to challenge conventions to create impactful advertising across different channels. Its hourly rate is very competitive if compared to some of the biggest advertising agencies. The firm aims to create disruptive advertising for small medium-size businesses that are ambitious and bold. Top Media Advertising could be the perfect choice for companies that are looking for personal dedication, bold creativity combined with passion and enthusiasm to help brands grow.

Employees

10-49

Hourly rate

50-99GBP

Ocean Strategy

For those who are not familiar with the term, Ocean Strategy was coined in the book Blue Ocean Strategy and it is a marketing strategy that aims to differentiate brands from its competitors by offering an alternative while unlocking new demand and making the competition irrelevant. Based in London, Ocean Strategy is a top-class boutique strategy consultancy specialized in the media sector.

Employees

1-49

Hourly rate

50-99GBP

Valtari

Mainly an advisory boutique consulting firm to investment companies, middle-market banks, and private equity groups. With offices in New York and London, it provides mainly market research insights and consulting services. With a small team of expert consultants in equity research, Valtari could be a great option for those businesses that are looking to enjoying the benefits of a boutique service and the reach of large consulting firms. Valtari could become an excellent partnet for those who are seeking a personal and boutique touch.

Employees

1-49

Hourly rate

Undisclosed

The Barton Partnership specialises in providing strategic and operational talent on a consulting basis. Founded in 2007 and with offices in London, Europe and New York, they have served companies across all sectors and industries and sizes from large corporations to boutique services. They possess wide knowledge expertise in fields such as innovation & management, global financial services, private equity. In their own words: The Barton Partnership was founded in 2007 with the goal of being the best specialist strategy recruitment business in the market. We value our relationships and have some exceptionally strong ones with candidates, clients and colleagues alike.

Employees

51-200

Hourly rate

Undisclosed

With a small of over 420 expert consulting worldwide Alpha seems to be a great boutique consulting firm with a solid reputation.Alpha is a wealth management consulting firm that helps asset and wealth managers make smarter and data-driven conclusions. In the consumer-center economy, clients´expectations are becoming higher and higher, it is becoming more complicated to outcompete rivals, and that is when Alpha consulting comes into place. Alpha services are limited to wealth and asset management and advisory.

Employees

+420

Hourly rate

Undisclosed

Abbott Risk Consulting is a boutique consulting firm with offices in the United Kingdom and Australia. Founded in 2002, it specializes in providing consulting services to some of the most high-hazard industries in the global economy. Abbott Risk has offices in over 12 locations with their main offices in London and Sydney. The firm provides high quality consulting, planning and management on oil platforms exploding, trains crashing, or accidents affecting nuclear power stations. The company is highly regarded for its corporate social responsibility efforts and promotes charitable actions.

Employees

Unknown

Hourly rate

Undisclosed

Founded by Martin Green in 1997. It specializes in software development consulting. Currently, its teams consist of 50 employees and made up of highly-qualified, talented and IT experts. Their services cover the entire cycle development and server any company regardless of their size from small entrepreneurial projects to complex systems for major corporations.In their own words: “When we need them to change things or make tweaks, they’re very pragmatic.” Blueberry Consultant offers the kind of reliable and personal service one would expect from a boutique consultancy but maintains the highest standards.

Employees

50

Hourly rate

25-49 GBP

Geeks Ltd

Geeks Ltd is more of software development and project management firm based in South London. Its main purpose is to deliver efficient enhancement to their clients by developing a smart software solution that aims to create automation techniques. If you are looking for a consulting firm that has Gold Certified Microsoft Partnership, Geeks Ltd is your firm. Experts on Microsoft solutions can work on any size project. Geeks can provide an exceptionally innovative software consultancy in South London.

Employees

50

Hourly rate

100-149 GBP

In the modern economy, markets are constantly changing and consumers are smarter than ever before. Synetec´s goal is to provide companies with a competitive edge by building and consulting on the technological environment. By creating bespoke software solutions that help businesses act fast to take advantage of disrupting markets and implementing substantial growth by enhancing, modernising and scaling existing operations.

Employees

10-49

Hourly rate

150-199 GBP

Appetite Creative Solutions

Appetite Creative Solutions is a branding and digital marketing consulting firm which possesses offices in Madrid, London and Dubai. Take a look at their website as it speaks for itself: a unique, utterly creative and beautiful piece of design. According to their own words, We have a flexible, agnostic approach, with our unique tech solutions and ad-serving technology. Appetite´s main focus is to drive consumers to stores, increase engagement levels and creating unique branding that drives powerful messaging and engagement levels.

Employees

10-49

Hourly rate

50-99 GBP

Ikon London

Ikon London represents the new modern creative boutique agency. Based in East London, right on the middle of the hipster scene, it is specialized in quality branding, websites and applications as well as digital marketing solutions. The firms, more of a creative agency, possesses an outstanding portfolio of creative work. Ikon London could be the perfect option for startups that ambition to have beautiful web experiences to drive more conversions and build a more effective brand awareness strategy.

Employees

2-9

Hourly rate

Undisclosed

Humatica

With offices in London and Zurich, according to its website, it is a boutique management consultancy. We are actively seeking exceptional individuals to join our team as Consultants in London and Zurich. They focus on partnering with equity firms to accelerate their growth. A team formed by highly skilled consultants that deliver bespoke, practical and fact-based solutions for our clients. What makes Humatica different from others is transparency and organisational effectiveness. Humatica is a specialist consultancy focused on enhancing the organisational performance and value of private equity backed portfolio companies.

Employees

1-50

Hourly rate

50-99GBP

Kota

Based in Clerkenwell, it is a well-known branding consulting firm, among its clients we can find Jamie Oliver, Preto and Pho Cafe. With a small team and a very competitive hourly rate, its branding portfolio is quite impressive. Kota mainly shines when creating a technically and visually application and strives to deliver the best results to its clients. Our design and development approach creates impactful, engaging brands and immersive digital experiences that bring you a return on creativity.

Employees

10-49

Hourly rate

50-99GBP

360i

360i is an award-winning agency that helps brands capitalize on change. As a highly strategic creative and media partner with a deep understanding of how people discover brands and share stories, we don’t just react to changes in the marketplace – we predict and define them. By bringing together some of the smartest, most curious people with expertise in data, creativity, media, strategy, search, and social, we help our clients achieve their objectives and drive their business forward. With a focus on data drive solution, 360i can become the ideal consulting firm to partner with.

Employees

200-249

Hourly rate

140-149GBP

Renewable Energy Consultants

With offices in London and Perth, they offer affordable consulting services within the renewable energy industry. Our business is focussed on the promotion, design and specification of renewable energy solutions to industry, social housing and to homeowners. Renewable Energy Consultants aims to deliver consulting expertise whose results are intended to have a long and lasting environmental performance through technology and are cost-effective in the long term.

Employees

Undisclosed

Hourly rate

Undisclosed

Moeller & Poeller Engineering (MPE)

Founded in 2013, currently, they have offices in Germany and London. It focuses on an international approach and cooperation in order to analyse and plan energy works and solutions. Along with their London office, they are also located inTübingen (Germany), Kiel (Germany)​. With a team of 20 engineers with expertise on different backgrounds within the renewable energy industry such as transmission & distribution, power station technology and software as well as supplying consultants. If you love German engineering, Moeller and Poeller firm is now in London.

Employees

Undisclosed

Hourly rate

Undisclosed

Marketing Expertus

Well, what can I say about Marketing Expertus? It is me. I am a freelance marketing consultant who offers boutique consulting services to small and medium-sized businesses. My motto is to serve to grow. I am very determined to make the most of my clients budgets and develop long term partnerships which could be beneficial for both parties. If you are looking for personal dedication and affordable rates, you will find in me your best partner. With many years of experience in marketing combined by restless creative and bold approaches to marketing strategies.

Employees

1

Hourly rate

39GBP

Consulting market size

Below I have posted a graph that contains consulting market size by millions ordered by country

View source here.

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